I went to the library tonight with the intent to do homework. Well, the library turned into a small social gathering with friends. We started talking about how fast the year is going, and how we can’t believe that graduation is in 94 days. But in all the craziness of the final semester of college, I started thinking back to the summer before my freshman year at Hope. And you know what? I can’t really believe how fast time has gone, and how far I’ve come from a nervous high school senior wondering if moving to Michigan was the right choice. So if you’re one of those high school seniors, nervous about what the future holds, I thought I would offer some encouragement. So here are 7 things that I wish I would have known heading off to college.
1. Everyone is in the same position as you. No matter what first impression people give you, everyone is in the same spot. No one really understand stands how college works, or even what to expected. So don’t worry too much! If you have a question ask it, if you want to get to know someone go introduce yourself, and if you feel sad or homesick tell someone! College is about learning and growing, so don’t be afraid to do so!
2. It takes time to find your true friends. If you feel like you keep meeting new people, but you haven’t met that perfect group, don’t stress! It takes time to make friends and develop close relationships. College is a time that people change and define their beliefs and values – this means that people you thought would be good friends at the start of your freshman year might not be the people you spend your Friday nights with. But bottom line, just because you haven’t found that perfect group doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
3. Learning to live with someone can be a challenge. That initial feeling you have about your roommate becoming your best friend probably won’t come true. Living with someone new is a good and bad experience all at the same time. Why you ask? Well, you’re taking two people who have limited things in common and telling them to live in a small space – it can be a challenge. Now, all that to say, Hope really does a great job matching roommates; however, it’s still an adjustment.
4. The professors want to know you. I cannot stress this enough! One of my absolute favorite things about Hope College is that your professors care about you. You will never be just a name on a test. So take advantage of the professors here. Visit their offices and ask questions – but don’t just ask questions about school. Ask about their life, their experiences. Because here’s the deal: if you don’t get to know your professors, you’ve missed out on one of the greatest relationships you’ll ever have.
5. Find out your interests and follow them. Pursue something that interests you. Chances are that if you don’t like your classes (okay, find the material semi interesting) than you aren’t on the right path. The great thing about a liberal arts college is that you have opportunities to try different classes – and you should try out classes. I made the mistake of coming into Hope as a nursing major and learning later in the process that I can’t stand blood or the smell of a hospital. But through Career Services, family, friends, and professors, I found a major that is perfect for me! And you too will find the perfect major – but don’t stress, it might just take a little extra time!
6. Take initiative. I can’t encourage you enough to take initiative. There will be so many things you want to do while at Hope – intramurals, Dance Marathon, Pull, and Nykerk just to name a few. Allow yourself time to do these things. Work hard and work smart so you can also enjoy your time here!
7. Time flies: It’s true, time really does fly! You would think that four years doesn’t go by that fast, but it will. So make the most of every moment, because you’ll never regret the time you spent at Hope College.
So there you have it – 7 things I wish I would have know 4 very short years ago. If you have any questions about Hope College (or college in general) make sure to follow me on twitter @hopechelsea15 – I always love talking to perspective students!